Banks explain extra information requests
Tougher international rules to combat money-laundering and other crime have hit Bermuda bank customers, the Island's banking industry body said yesterday.
The Bermuda Bankers' Association (BBA) said that banks are now asking for additional information and documentation, from both new customers and existing ones.
But a spokesman for the BBA said: “This is essential to the ongoing viability of Bermuda's banking industry and by extension the Island's reputation as a good place to do business.” The BBA said “rapid regulatory change” was aimed at stopping criminals and terrorists from using banks to deposit laundered money and cash from drug trafficking, terrorist financing and tax evasion.
The spokesman added: “Bermuda is not immune to the impact of these changes. As a well-regarded international financial centre, it is essential that we all continue to work to maintain and enhance our reputation as a good place to do good business, aligned with the highest international standards of controls and transparency.”
He said that the BBA worked with regulators the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA) on the provision of financial services in Bermuda, including dealing with the impact of increased international regulations and requirements. The spokesman added: “The BBA is committed to ensuring that the legal and regulatory framework governing financial services in Bermuda operates in an efficient, effective and fair manner.
“This prudent approach is not only good for banking customers but also for the protection and maintenance of the Island's reputation as a highly-regulated and safe environment within which companies and individuals can do business.”
And he said that customers should tell their bank about changes in personal circumstances, like address, marital status and other major relevant changes.